20 drills to help you develop well-rounded middles!
- Teach your middle the correct footwork and approach to maximize each swing
- Train middles to read the direction of the hit to increase their number of blocks during a game
- Get your middles familiar with the transition footwork patterns, from serve-receive to attack, in different rotations
with Todd Dagenais,
University of Central Florida head coach,
former USC Assistant Head Coach; co-head coach of the 2016 Collegiate Women's National Team
University of Central Florida head coach Todd Dagenais offers an in-depth look at the middle position from some of the basics to full-on blocking strategy. Dagenais provides instruction and his perspective on lining up on a hitter, isolating the middle hitter's approach, working around a block, tooling a block, transition drills, off-blocker defense, blocking strategy/schemes, setting out-of-system balls, and multi-ball chaos drills.
Dagenais works with a quick two-step approach for transition situations when the middle is coming off of the block, as well as a full three-step approach for free ball situations. The coach goes through all serve-receive rotations and demonstrates how to get the middles to move and get themselves in position to make a play on the ball. In addition to getting the middles active in your offense, the basic defensive principles you'll want your middles to follow to become productive middle blockers are covered.
Working Around the Block
Dagenais begins with two drills that isolate the middle attacker, working on hitting areas and zones on the court. He emphasizes the ability to tool the block and communication with the setter to help maximize a middle's ability to attack around the block.
With the proper awareness and skills, your middles will be able to hit with power to zone five or cut back to zone one.
Isolating Transition Routes
In this section, Dagenais discusses the technique a middle hitter uses to go from their serve-receive spots. He covers passing responsibility, transition point and the relationship with the setter after the pass. You'll also learn a couple of blocking drills to teach the skill and middle-on-six drills.
From serve-receive transition work, Dagenais moves on to teaching how to be an off-blocker, pick up the tip and then run an attack. He shows a basic drill that can be used to introduce the skill to your players.
Coach Dagenais talks about the blocking communication needed with the pin hitters for a pin attack and when a hitter attacks inside. He goes over who's responsible in setting the block in each of these situations. You will find three blocking schemes (Read, Front and Commit) that Dagenais uses with his team. He first describes, then demonstrates, each scheme and how the defense positions themselves. You'll also learn how to shift during the rally to counter a strong attacker, and how to avoid the setter seeing the movement.
While Coach Dagenais covers how middles play when things go well, he also provides insight into tips to make the middle more successful when things go poorly. He explains how the middle can be a defensive asset to the team as an off-blocker or emergency setter. Dagenais puts his middles through drills to help them be efficient out-of-system setters. During these drills, you'll learn how to use your middle when the setter is the first contact, as well as when the dig ends up in the net.
When it comes to middles, the biggest problem coaches face is how to get them more involved in the offense. This video will give you the answers you need to train your middles to make themselves available on offense by getting in position fast and efficiently!
54 minutes. 2017.Volleyball Videos